First Meetup, First Impressions

Meeting new people always prove to be an interesting experience.

So I just went to my first Meetup ever on December 15 with NorfolkJS and it was basically an “Introduction to Travis-CI”. 

NorfolkJS – Circular Logo

I didn’t really know anything about Travis CI going in (other than the fact that some coding bootcamps have used it for projects) but I’m still glad I was able to get some perspective from one of the engineers there.

I also got a free book, “If Hemingway wrote JavaScript” (which is pretty amusing so far!), a new network of local coding peeps, and tons of potential future fun.

Besides NorfolkJS, I also joined /\drenaline_ junkiesGDG Hampton RoadsHR FEN (Hampton Roads Friends, Events and Networking)Southeastern Virginia SkepticsTidewater Atheists Group (TAG)Tidewater Science and Reason, and the Vegan Dinner Social and Pleasure Club.

I went to a planetarium show and was recommended a really great book (Mad Cowboy) in other Meetups so far.

TL;DR – Looking forward to the next Meetups for sure!!!

Meetup - HR FenMeetup – HR Fen

I also ended up going to my first non-tech related meetup soon afterwards with Hampton Roads Friends, Events, and Networking.

The official title of this Meetup was Macaroni Grill Restaurant, Town Center – New Member Mixer Dinner.


  • Finding out people’s ages was a challenge for everyone (people who looked 21 were actually 41).
  • I was probably the youngest person there at 19 which was surprisingly not awkward at all.
  • I met a fellow Latina, who I chatted a lot with and who shared with me that I was the first Hispanic she’s come across in the Meetups she’s gone to so far.
  • There was a very keen and optimistic meat eater right across from me which was just ironic because I’m strictly vegetarian.
  • Dinner cost $15 which wasn’t bad for some pretty good pasta, salad, bread, and water.
  • I got a few business cards, so the networking part is a check.
  • The waitress was ridiculously bubbly, so I felt obliged to give her a decent tip (which is not something I usually do, tbh). Shrug.
  • I felt that at least 40 people showed up in total, although there was probably more since 70 people initially signed up (a lot of people did cancel at the last minute though).

Conclusion? Meeting new people always prove to be an interesting experience.

By Frances Coronel

Frances Coronel is a software engineer specializing in UI development on the Customer Acquisition Team at Slack where her mission is to make your working life simpler, more pleasant, and more productive.

She has been working professionally as a developer since 2015 and holds a Bachelors in Computer Science from Hampton University and a Masters in Computer Science from Cornell Tech.

Outside of Slack, Frances is an Executive Director of Techqueria, a 501c3 nonprofit that serves the largest community of Latinx in Tech in the US.

She also supports Code Nation as a member of their Bay Area Leadership Council and the Latino Community Foundation as a member of their Latinos in Tech Giving Circle.